Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Former creamery buildings are
part of Rathkeale’s heritage

The former creamery buildings date back almost two centuries (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

In searching for the architectural heritage of Rathkeale, it is easy to pay attention to the Georgian houses and historical buildings such as the churches, castles and convent, the schools, the former courthouse and vacant cinema, the shops and the old pubs, or the five-arched bridge over the River Deel dating from 1747 and the former railway station.

But Rathkeale also has an interesting architectural heritage in its old industrial and commercial buildings, such as the banks and the old buildings associated with the disused gasworks and the former creamery.

The former creamery buildings, which are almost two centuries old, are now incorporated into the Kerry Agribusiness Farm Store on Rathkeale’s Main Street, close to the bridge over the River Deel.

The principal building in this complex is the detached former creamery, built around 1820. This is a three-bay, two-storey block with a lower four-bay two-storey block to the north-west. It has pitched slate roofs with a rendered eaves course, and rendered walls.

Throughout the building there are square-headed openings, which had bipartite timber sliding sash windows until recent years. The square-headed opening on the first floor of the north-west block also had a fixed timber multiple pane window. The bipartite timber sash windows once added interest to the façade of the building, but have been removed in the past decade.

There are square-headed openings at the ground floor level with metal doors, and a rubble stone boundary wall to the north-west.

These tall buildings retain much of their form and materials. Their simple design, scale and size are characteristic of warehouses and stores of their era, but they also mean that it is easy to overlook the potential of this site while walking through Rathkeale.

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